NHL Weekly Preview: All-Star Weekend (Jan. 24)

Audio/Story posted January 24, 2020 in Sports, CommRadio by Jacob Cheris, Jordan Hession & Nick Shimkin

We’ve officially reached the midway mark of the NHL season, and that means that it’s All-Star weekend. This year, All-Star weekend will take place in St. Louis, Missouri, from Jan. 24-25. It’s time for the biggest stars in the NHL to show off their talents. The division winner of the 3-on-3 tournament will receive $1 million, and the winner of each skills event will receive $30,000. Let’s take a look at the biggest storylines for this weekend.

Injuries, injuries, and more injuries

This All-Star Game is different from years past. There have been multiple injuries and players choosing not to play. If a player chooses not to play, then he will be suspended one game. Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin has chosen not to play for the second straight year despite being voted Metropolitan Division captain.

According to an article written by Samantha Pell of the Washington Post, Ovechkin said, “It’s a hard decision, but I have to listen to my body. I have to get ready for the second half of the year. I have to be healthy and focus on different things.”

The new captain of the Metro division will be Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang. Other players include Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury and Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask, both of whom are likely to be in the playoffs again.

Multiple injuries have made headlines this year. From a fractured fibula to shoulder surgery, these players are so vital to their teams’ success: Penguins forward Jake Guentzel, Hurricanes defenseman Dougie Hamilton, Devils forward Kyle Palmieri, Rangers forward Artemi Panarin, and Blue Jackets goaltender Joonas Korpisalo. More injuries include Sharks forward Logan Couture, Coyotes goaltender Darcy Kuemper, and Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg, who dropped out due to personal reasons.

Each player has a replacement, or replacements, and they will be getting their first crack to show the fans what they bring to the table. The replacements are well-deserved, too. Players like Pens goaltender Tristan Jarry and Devils forward Nico Hischier, both of whom are having great seasons, will make an appearance on All-Star weekend.  —Jacob Cheris

Breaking more barriers

For the first time ever, there will be a women’s 3-on-3 game between Team USA and Team Canada. It will be a 20-minute game featuring some of the best women’s talent in the world. This is a tremendous step in the right direction for women’s hockey, women’s sports and the sport of hockey itself. The game will be a part of the always exciting NHL skills competition and may very well steal the show.

Team USA will be coached by former Team USA captain and Hockey Hall of Famer Cammi Granato, who won gold as a player in 1998. One key player to look out for is Amanda Kessel, sister of Coyotes forward Phil Kessel, who won gold medals in various international competitions. Another player to watch for the American All-Stars is Hilary Knight, who has scored 95 career points on the international scene from 2007 to 2019.

Team Canada will be coached by multiple-time medalist and Hockey Hall of Famer Jayna Hefford. Key players for Canada will be forwards Sarah Nurse and Natalie Spooner. Nurse is a young stud at just 25 years old. She has made appearances for Canada’s U18 and development teams, tallying 21 points in 26 appearances. Spooner is an experienced player who is just entering her prime at 29 years old. She has been on the Canadian national team since 2008 and won gold at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi.

This women’s game should prove to be extremely exciting, and it is a huge step forward for women and sports. Hopefully we can see more events like this in the future for the advancement of women’s hockey and women’s sports.  —Nick Shimkin

Enterprise NHL Hardest Shot

A fan favorite event of NHL All-Star Game is returning. The Hardest Shot competition features some of the best shooters in the league. This year's participants include Mark Giordano, Seth Jones, Shea Weber, Victor Hedman, Ellias Pettersson and John Carlson.

Each player will be given two shots to fire upon a net. Each shot will be measured by radar in miles per hour, with the highest speed between the two shots being recorded. A single puck will be positioned on the ice 30 feet away from the center of the net. For a shot to be calculated, the shot must be on the net.

With all the talent on the ice, a few broken sticks are sure to occur. If a player breaks his stick during the competition, he will be given another attempt. The player who records the fastest speed on a shot will be named the winner. If a tie for the fastest speeds occurs, the two tied players will shoot against each other to determine who has the hardest shot in the NHL.

Shea Weber is highly favored to win due to his past performance in this competition. You won’t want to miss this component of the skills competition.  —Jordan Hession

Skills competition predictions

Jacob's picks:
Fastest Skater: Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers
Hardest Shot: Shea Weber, Montreal Canadiens
Save Streak: Jordan Binnington, St. Louis Blues
Accuracy Shooting: Leon Draisaitl, Edmonton Oilers
Shooting Stars: David Pastrnak, Boston Bruins
Women's game: USA 10-9
Division Winner: Metropolitan

Nick's picks:
Fastest Skater: Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers
Hardest Shot: John Carlson, Washington Capitals
Save Streak: Braden Holtby, Washington Capitals
Accuracy Shooting: Mark Scheifele, Winnipeg Jets
Shooting Stars: David Pastrnak, Boston Bruins
Women’s game: USA 12-10
Division Winner: Metropolitan

Jordan's picks:
Fastest Skater: Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche
Hardest Shot: Shea Weber, Montreal Canadiens
Save Streak: Jordan Binnington, St. Louis Blues
Accuracy Shooting: Leon Draisaitl, Edmonton Oilers
Shooting Stars: Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks
Women’s game: 13-12 USA
Division Winner: Pacific


Jacob Cheris is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email jacobcheris19@gmail.com.

Jordan Hession is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email hessionjordan@gmail.com.

Nick Shimkin is a freshman majoring in public relations. To contact him, email nks5447@psu.edu.

About the Contributors

Jordan Hession's photo

Jordan Hession

Junior / Broadcast Journalism

Jordan Hession is a junior from Annapolis, Maryland majoring in broadcast journalism. Jordan is the co-host of CommRadio’s longest running live radio show The Sin Bin with Kyle Cannillo. In the summer of 2020, Jordan interned at SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio as a sports programmer. When Jordan is not discussing sports, he is writing various articles for collegiate and professional sports leagues and teams. Jordan has a love for all sports but has a genuine passion to spread ice hockey and baseball globally. Away from broadcast journalism, Jordan enjoys lifting weights and cooking. Jordan’s role models in the broadcast journalism industry include Doc Emrick, Gary Thorne and Mike Lange. In the future, Jordan sees himself working as a producer or host in sports talk radio and potentially television. To contact Jordan, email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Jacob Cheris's photo

Jacob Cheris

Junior / Broadcast Journalism

Jacob Cheris is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism from Gaithersburg, Maryland. He is an aspiring sports play-by-play broadcaster or sports writer. Jacob is a huge Washington Capitals fan and has a great passion for hockey. He played all throughout high school and still plays in the Student Hockey League. He is also a member of Penn State Sports Night, where he analyzes hockey and other sports on YouTube. Jacob also covers Penn State mens hockey as the lead editorial writer for Roar Lions Roar, giving in depth analysis on the team, and feature stories on specific players. His favorite play-by play-broadcasters are Mike “Doc” Emrick of NBC Sports and Joe Beninati of NBC Sports Washington. Jacob is looking to expand his love for hockey and use it across all sports.